Old Sweetwater

Old Sweetwater

Monday, March 16, 2015

Kitchen Before and After

I thought I would share a few photos to show a glimpse of where we started and where we are now. 
When the renovation was at its worst, I didn't have the heart to take a photo. Truth be told, during those times I would sing for joy, do a happy dance, pray "the nightmare" would be over soon. Just being real. 
It's challenging to envision a kitchen in a 150 year old stinky house in a space that was the living room-turned-dining room, especially when there are just mounds of filth and no floor...but I'm glad we didn't give up!
Yesterday I walked into our Farm-inspired kitchen, and even though it isn't quite finished, I. Am. Thrilled. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

DIY Vintage-inspired Vanity Wrap-Up

Okay, let's get this done! You should have your vanity built [your doors should open for easy access to plumbing]. It should be painted and your zinc top on (I found you can purchase 36-inch rolled flashing if you want a wider top). Your bucket-sink should be dry fitted in. Now the plumbing.
1) You cannot use the drain that comes with most faucets. The bucket bottom is too thin. You'll need a common drain that doesn't close or hold water. See the top photo. You will need a drill and bit.
2) Drill a hole in the center of the bucket bottom according to directions. Wear eye and hand protection! Be careful not to push on the bucket bottom because of the bottom seam. Drill with it secured to a solid surface.
3) Use tub and kitchen CLEAR sealing *caulk* [see Part One] around drain opening. Push drain into place. Wipe excess sealant off. Let it set up according to sealant directions. I added more after it was installed, PLUS around the entire bottom seal because that's a weaker seam. It dries clear.
Faucet: We purchased chrome wall-mounted kitchen faucets. We like the bigger size of kitchen versus bathroom, the ability to swing the faucet out of the way and we adored the look. Uh.....they're not easy to install. If you're not at least moderately experienced, I suggest to do a deck model faucet
Duly warned, let's proceed. :)
1) Dry-set your bucket in the opening and clamp the backsplash into place. Mark the center and height for your faucets. Wall-mounts don't come with a deck cover, so no *do-overs* or cheating to the left or right. On the other hand, building another backsplash is easy.
2) Drill the holes as needed.
3) Because we're not attaching them to a thin cast iron sink back, but 3/4-inch thick wood, you may need to get plumbing spacers. We went to our local hardware store and they helped. Plus, our faucets were *jiggly* so we used Shower CURTAIN ROD mounts on the front that were screwed in and washers on the back to secure them! Worked great.
4) Once you've gotten the faucets on, do a happy dance...and then bolt on the backsplash.
5) Plumb everything to your drains and water supply. This vanity is a "stand-alone" vanity because I like the furniture look, but we still placed it in a corner. 
6) Test it for leaks.
7) Enjoy!
You can add a shelf below to help hide the plumbing, but I chose to decorate instead.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

DIY Vanity Part 3

It's onward to the doors, sides, backsplash and paint finish! Remember, we used what already had already to save $$$ and all dimensions can be altered easily.
Doors: We made our's from grooved pine flooring found at a home improvement store. 1) Measure the front and side openings. 
2) Subtract 1/4 inch from top and bottom measurement of the FRONT DOORS ONLY so you'll have 1/8" clearance around. Dry fit and adjust as needed remembering your hinges.
3) Hammer and sand them to take away hard edges. Old farm furniture has soft edges from everday use.
4) We had old wooden keyholes, so we drilled holes where the *key* would have gone and finish-nailed/glued them on. Use whatever you want to add character and charm.
5) The sides can have *wooden splints* like our doors, or left plain. 
6) Go ahead and put on your small hinges because you'll want to paint them. That's what I said. Don't worry if they're not all alike. Keep in mind, hard-working farm furniture!
Backsplash: It has an open back for easier plumbing and attaching. Our's measures 31" long;  3" deep, [l suggest if you have room, make it 3-1/2" deep. The deeper will be in brackets]. It's 11" tall. 
1) From your 1X4's cut 5 pieces 31" long.
2) Cut two side pieces at 10-1/4" long. Rip to 3" width [obviously don't rip for 3-1/2"].
3) Rip two - the top and bottom 31" pieces - to a 3" depth. [Not necessary with deeper splash]. 
4) Assemble it. Distress it. Don't attach it until you plumb in the faucet.
Paint: We have woodwork from 1867, so I studied it and came up with a fairly decent facsimile.
1) Prime everything with flat paint. I used our wall paint. Let dry.
2) With leftover craft paint, in the gouges and depressions I blobbed in black, brown and gray. You can use any colors you want to come through. Let dry completely.
3) I then poured yellow wood glue over these dark spots and gouges. White glue is best if you don't want yellow peeking through later! Let dry for at least 4 hours.
4) Paint with satin or gloss latex enamel. Be sloppy. I am serious. Drag the brush lightly across to get texture. Runs are good. What? 
5) When it's dry to the touch, sand those gouges and depressions with a fine grit sandpaper by hand. You'll see the paint and glue underneath appear!
6) Next, I antiqued it all using more leftover craft paint mixed with Flotrol. Water will do on a pinch.
7) We had 1867 square nails I used to attach our splints. Mismatched nails and screws would work too.
Plumbing is next. Just a note: I'm doing this all on my smartphone, so please let me know if I need to adjust anything or have lots of typos. Thanks! ♡♡♡

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Vintage-inspired Vanity Part 2

Photo C
Photo D
Let's continue with the vanity build! I painted and *aged* the vanity before attaching the zinc top. I did the same to the back splash and doors separately.
1) Measure the front and sides between the boards that run lengthwise to get your door sides and stiles. Out of your 1X 4 stock, you will be cutting 7 of these...three in front and two per side. Ours are 2 inches wide. See photo D.
2) Measure your bucket and faucets to see how much bucket can show above the counter and the circumference of the hole. We had a 4" reveal and 14" circle. Mark the hole.
3) Beginning with a hole saw, then jigsaw, cut the hole in your plywood keeping the sink closely to the front but clearing the cabinet front. Note: Our 1st antique bucket sprang several tiny leaks when we got ready to install it, so check carefully. New buckets *aged* with Lysol Toiletbowl Cleaner work great! There are several tutorials on the Net. We used it to age our zinc flashing.
4) Lay your flashing over the top exactly where you want it and from underneath, mark the sink's hole with a Sharpie so you can begin the hole cutout before gluing it down. *We had leftover Liquid Nails Adhesive (for metal to wood). 
5) Apply adhesive onto the plywood, then lay the flashing on the top. Be careful! Wear gloves and eye protection when working with metal. See photo C. 
6) Instead of soldering the corners, wrap them like a gift. Hammer them into place and then sand smooth with emery cloth. No sharp corners!!!!! We also used tiny 1/2" nails to secure any stubborn spots and underneath...and even on sides. It's not supposed to be perfect-Yay! Sand all edges.
7) Weight the top down while the glue sets up. We used two 5 gallon paint can that were full.
8) After the glue sets 24 hours, finish cutting sink's hole making sure to *clip* edges (just like sewing) so the zinc can fold in around the edge.
9) Dry fit the bucket. 
More to come...get ready to build the backsplash.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Vintage-inspired Vanity to Build - Part 1

Our budget to renovate Old Sweetwater was miniscule. We got our cottage functional enough to move in, but after three, five, seven weeks of *roughing it,* I wanted to finish just ONE room.
We spent $14.00 to finish the bathroom because we used scraps [my husband keeps everything] and former purchases. Yay! I was asked to do a tutorial on IG for this vanity. Here's a stripped-down version:

  • 4 legs-33 inches tall [square edges = easy] 
  • 1 piece of 3/8" plywood 19-1/2" X 31" for the top which allows 1/2" hang over on three sides 
  • 1 piece of zinc-coated steel flashing at least 20" wide, 34" long
  • Tin snips, emery cloth and gloves 
  • 5 pieces of 1X4X8 pine lumber [I beat the crazy out of them so they'd look old]
  • 1 piece 8 foot long of 3/4" grooved pine flooring for doors and sides [there are other options we'll discuss later]
  • 1 galvanized bucket
  • 4 small hinges
  • 1 set of wall-mounted faucets**
  • Paint, glue, nails and the basic tools to cut and nail it all together
  • Note: the symbol " is inches and save yourself grief by dry-fitting it all together before nailing.
Photo A
1) 4 maple legs from a  twin bed bought at auction years ago. Photo A.
2) Four 1X4's cut 24" in length. [Two 3" legs + 24" = 30" vanity.] See photo B  
3) Cut 8 - 3/4" X 18" long from 1X 4 to nail rails-stiles to. See photo B 
4) Four 1X4 cut 13-1/2" for the sides
5) Nail together remembering you have 3/4" doors and sides to attach. Hard part done. Part 2 to come.

Photo B

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentines 2015

Eons, centuries, ages, many years ago a teenaged couple went on a day-time blind date set up by their best friends (who were dating). 
At the close of the date, they went to a beautiful city park, held hands and talked about everything. It was the beginning of a long and loving relationship. 
Who knew so many years and moves later they would still be married, in love and planning to revisit the same park on Valentines?
I adore this classic G-rated movie!!! Perhaps it's because my hubby is like Redford's character: loving, but more serious and practical. I think I'm a little like Fonda's: more willing for adventure and emotional.
Who are you most like? Fonda, Redford, the patient mom? Or maybe even the bohemian neighbor? Got any Valentines plans?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Location, Location, Location

I was reminded of a truth recently: location.... We moved the secretary into the living room with a few garden accessories, [Spring will be here in a few weeks], and it just "clicked." She may be small, but she's a hard working office gal who needed to be out front in a place where she could be accessible and appreciated from all angles. She's got a bit of *bling* but is a no-nonsense organizer.  Yeah, we're gonna get along just fine!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Office Assistant or Secretary?

It's a secretary in this case...one I decided to partially strip to the green paint. It's a sweet piece we got for a *steal* at an auction three years ago because it was painted one bad coat of white. I planned on using it as our "Office," but there's something about it I don't like. Is it the shelves? The style? The location? Help me! Maybe I'm just not the secretary type? 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

1 Step Forward, 3 Seps Back Cha Cha

That's the dance of a major renovation. Do not attempt one unless you're very patient, highly motivated and are not easily discouraged...none of which I believed we were, but we can see the trophy and are dancing like crazy to win [metaphorically speaking].

We have ice after replacing the faulty compression valve. We have hot water after replacing a fitting that had the wrong glue....cha-cha-cha.

The dance steps have switched to 1 step back; 3 steps forward. That's progress. Yay!

You can't appreciate where you are until you remember where you were. At the bottom is where we were...after we already tore out the old plaster!

The beautiful new stove arrived Tuesday-photos to come. The quartz stone tile looked too new so I aged them with soot-gray and white. The brick is from the 1867 fireplace!